Interview with Mr. Fabrice Perin, CEO of Spincontrol Asia
Fabrice Perin, CEO
Mr. Perin, can you briefly tell us something about the history of Spincontrol Asia?
Spincontrol has been founded almost 30 years ago by Dr. Patrick Beau, a researcher from the University of Tours, in France. This company started as a truly innovative laboratory where high-tech in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopic and imaging methods were used as research tools for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic industries. After 3 years of operations, Spincontrol became a cosmetic Contract Research Organization as it is well known today, able to provide standard and research protocols for the substantiation of cosmetic claims. At that time, some of our European clients were looking for evaluating the effects of their products on Asian skin. Therefore we have created Spincontrol Asia to meet these regular requests, the rationale being that it is easier to find Asian subjects in Asian rather than in France. Moreover cosmetics developed for Asian markets are tested in one Asian country on Asian subjects which makes more sense. We launched Spincontrol Asia in 2003 in Bangkok, as a joint-venture with Chemico Inter Corporation, a well-established distributor of cosmetic and food ingredients in South-East Asia. Since 2003, Spincontrol Asia has grown continuously, has been certified ISO 9001, and has been able to attract clients from the five continents.
What services do you offer for the cosmetic industry?
We provide in vivo testing services for the manufacturers of active ingredients and finished cosmetic products. Our main strength is about efficacy testing. Indeed we have a large number of methods and techniques to propose for the assessment of face and body care products, hair care products, oral care, and make-up products. But we also have a very significant activity in the field of tolerance studies which include patch testing, dermatological, ophthalmological and odontological controls of the compatibility of cosmetic formulations. Last but not least, we also perform consumer studies.
Spincontrol has branch offices in 5 countries. What is the special focus of Spincontrol Asia in Bangkok?
Indeed we are present in France, Thailand, Canada, India and Indonesia. In Bangkok, we focus on pigmentation problems. Having a white skin is an extremely important element of the women’s beauty in Asian cultures. This desire for a light complexion comes from traditional Asian values and beliefs, but has been also reinforced by Western cultural influences. Because whitening/lightening products are the best-selling products in Asia, it is logical that many manufacturers contact us to scientifically demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of their new formulations. We have also quite a lot of tests related to sebum and acne. Spicy food is popular in South-East Asia and is known to boost excessive sebum secretion. For this reason, many of our studies deal with sebo-regulating and mattifying products. Finally anti-aging are the other claim of importance in our laboratory.
You have a motto called PROOF. What does that mean?
This motto has two origins and a double objective. On the brochure of our group appear one sentence attributed to the famous mathematician Euclid: “What is expressed without proof can be denied without proof”. I feel that this sentence perfectly suits with our mission which is to provide the scientific evidence that one cosmetic is effective and safe. Because I liked this saying, I have tried to use the acronym PROOF for internal and external communications: internally to remind my employees that I have and we have some important commitments to respect; externally to confirm to our clients that our words engage us. Spincontrol Asia is Professional. We are committed to provide high-quality services for cosmetic testing in Asia. We strive for continuous improvement through training and innovation. We Respect our employees, our clients, suppliers and partners and we respect all regulations. Spincontrol Asia is Open. We are willing to receive ideas, opinions and critics. We are committed to communicate with full transparency. Others matter. We are committed to build lasting relationships with our clients and partners, based on mutual trust. Employees are responsible for the performance and reputation of the company and should be rewarded for their efforts. Volunteers who participate to our studies deserve our best consideration. Fairness is the last point. We conduct fair business with our clients. Justice, honesty, equality and solidarity between managers and employees are the rules. We have a large poster displayed in our office to ensure that staffs and visitors understand that we are fully committed. Should we fail to work on our rules, they have the right and the duty to remind us of our motto.
What is your vision for the future?
We are working to continuously improve ourselves so as to be a major cosmetic CRO in Asia. The idea is to identify our strengths and weaknesses, systematically eliminate the weak points while still consolidating our strong points. The fact that Spincontrol has 5 branches will help us to develop a synergy between the centres. And the recent acquisition of Spincontrol France by BIO-EC laboratory, a specialist research center for cosmetic and dermatological efficacy and safety studies with an expertise in ex vivo tests, will help us to expand the range of our technical and scientific solutions by developing more relevant and original protocols.